Do you want to learn how to make chloroform?
In our last DIY article, we talked about how to make a paracord koozie. In this post, you’re going to see how to make DIY chloroform from home. With that being said, I also want to lead with caution.
Safety is first, always was and always will be. This is a dangerous chemical. It’s powerful and can harm those who don’t tread carefully when handling these types of chemicals. Precaution and safety should be handled first, long before sitting down with everything ready to start mixing hazardous chemicals.
Chloroform is still used today for a variety of purposes. It’s non-flammable which gives it some advantages over some other chemicals. It’s used in industrial processes. It’s used as a solvent. Solvents help other substances dissolve.
Again, if that description doesn’t make you want to take an extra step or two to be as safe as possible if you’re going to be handling this chemical, read it again.
I found this free PDF on Chloroform you can download or look at for more detailed information.
You could also use it to kill insects, although there are easier and less fun ways to do that.
It’s surprisingly easy and disturbingly simple to make. Some have asked, can you make Chloroform with nail polish remover? There’s some truth in that.
Nail polish remover contains something called acetone, along with paint removers. Acetone is one of the ingredients that can be used to make Chloroform.
When you blend bleach with rubbing alcohol, the combination produces Chloroform.
That’s not all, there’s more than one way to make an omelet. You can also make Chloroform by mixing acetone with bleach. Acetone is the preferred ingredient for the recipe. So that’s what we’ll use.
You can make this from home with just a few common ingredients. No need to rent a private laboratory, we’re not making a fusion reactor. Although it would be safer if made in a lab.
Supplies and Ingredients:
- 6% Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach or just regular household bleach. Just make sure you use bleach that doesn’t contain any other additives.
- Acetone. The ratio from bleach to acetone is 50:1. So you don’t need much.
- Glassware. A large glass container is ideal. We want it to be clear so that you can see the chemicals anything else that doesn’t belong with them like residue.
- Separation Funnel
- Glass Stir Stick
- Gas Mask
The bulk of the budget for this DIY project isn’t for the ingredients themselves, but the equipment and safety ware for handling the ingredients. Here’s how to make it.
Total Time: 30 minutes
1. Add Ice and Bleach
Add some ice into your glassware. Then add 1/2 liter of bleach. The ice is simply to keep the bleach at a low temperature.
2. Add Acetone
Add 10ml of acetone into the glassware. You want to use the bleach as a 50:1 ratio to acetone.
Mix gently with your stir stick.
This is where the two chemicals react with each other. It’s not as instant as a spark to a stick of dynamite.
Leave it alone for about 60 minutes. It will take about that time for the reaction to fully process.
After the time has passed, the reaction should be completed. The Chloroform will be at the bottom of the container.
Pour out the excess bleach that’s on top while being careful to leave the Chloroform in the container.
5. Extract Chloroform
Pour out as much bleach as you can without wasting any Chloroform. When you’re done pouring, transfer the rest of the container to your separation funnel.
Let it sit there and settle for 10 minutes. When it’s settled, drain out the Chloroform. All that’s left should be water that you started with.
This tutorial video will help you with the process.
Technically you’re done with making a batch of Chloroform. Now depending on what you were planning on using it for would determine what to do next.
Now that you know how to make it, you also know how to make Chloroform spray if you wanted to be able to use it as a spray.
If you were planning on using it on people or animals, the Chloroform does, believe it or not, need to be purified first.
This is important to know. The material is extremely impure for it to be applied to people or animals. It must be distilled unless you’re killing bugs with it.
In order to purify it, it would have to go through the distilling process. You’ll want to use sulfuric acid to distill it.
This tutorial will help you with learning how to distill Chloroform.
Now that you know how to make it, is it illegal to use Chloroform?
Chloroform is labeled in the carcinogen class of drugs, making it illegal. It can’t be purchased as a product in the United States as it is not a consumer product. The use of Chloroform as an ingredient in cosmetic products has been banned since 1976.
Storing it. Another important point. If you do make a batch and go to put it in storage.
If Chloroform isn’t stored properly, it morphs into a poison that’s toxic. It degrades into phosgene over time which was a chemical weapon that was used in World War 1.
So it’s important you don’t just throw it in the garage and forget about it.
To store it, keep it in a sealed airtight container. The container should be a dark color. Make sure all the air is removed from it too.
Was making Chloroform easier than you thought?
I’ll say it again, proceed with caution. Just do everything you should. Wear protective gear. Store it correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions
First, let’s answer some common questions about Chloroform.
How long does it take for someone to become unconscious with Chloroform?
About 20 seconds of inhaling the chemical. That’s how long it takes to knock someone out with Chloroform. It’s powerful. As far as how long it lasts for. It keeps the person unconscious for as long as it is applied for. The entire duration of which it is being inhaled.
How Do You Get Chloroform?
There are only two ways to get Chloroform. Only one of the ways is practical.
Find a lab that will offer it to you. Whether it’s a science lab or a chemical company that manufactures it. This would require a certain degree of calling and researching. It could also bring unwanted attention. And the other way is of course, to make it!
What can be used instead of chloroform?
It mainly depends on what application you would need it for. In general, there are a few alternatives that would work for most applications:
2. Methyl esters of fatty acids.
3. Ionic liquids
4. Water + cyclodextrins
5. Supercritical CO2.
Is it illegal to have chloroform?
Chloroform has been banned as a consumer product in the United States since 1976. It’s banned and illegal because of the fact it’s a carcinogen. Since it’s banned, individual consumers may not purchase it.
Can you actually buy chloroform?
Chloroform can be purchased at most chemical supply supplies.